Ex-minister Sichilima faces arrest for failing to retire K122 m imprest

FORMER  Home Affairs Deputy Minister Gaston Sichilima is facing possible arrest for failing to pay back to Government over K122 million which he had obtained as imprest but failed to retire.

According to documents from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Mr Sichilima, while serving as deputy minister, obtained K122, 716 million over a period of three months, monies which to this date have not been retired.

This came to light yesterday when Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Maxwell Nkole appeared before the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to present a memorandum on the Auditor General’s report for the financial year ended December 31, 2010 and chaired by Chipangali Member of Parliament, Vincent Mwale.

Mr Nkole said the ministry had written to Mr Sichilima informing him of the outstanding money but that the former deputy minister had not made any efforts to pay back the money.

Mr Nkole said some documents presented in relation to the said imprest were questionable and that Government would have no choice but to take Mr Sichilima to court if he did not settle the amount.

Mr Nkole said the matter was being actively pursued since Mr Sichilima could not be surcharged as he had already received his gratuity and
recovering the money though a court order was the only other option.

“We contacted him several times bringing the matter to his attention, so if he doesn’t pay we will have no choice but to take him to
court,” Mr Nkole said.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs audit accounts, Mr Sichilima on September 9, 2010 obtained a cheque worth K22, 588 million followed by another of K28 million on October 1, 2010.

Other cheques were for K39,323 million, K13,442 million and K18,737 million, monies whose use was yet to be substantiated.

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